Part 1: Riptide
I was so glad to finally be free to make my own path in my singing career. While I would be missing the gang in the band we were in during college, I knew that it was for the better to go solo since I didn't want to be in the background forever...
I got a suggestion from one of my friends that I should go look for someone who could help get my own music career off the ground since, according to her, this guy is a HUGE inspiration for struggling artists and he lived in this beach town or whatever. I guess I sort of struggled in being a background singer compared to the others and the attention they got.
And yeah, that's how I got here...
Hi, uh, I'm Molly Sorkin. I'm twenty three years old, I have teal eyes and light pink hair (it was originally light brown), and as I mentioned, I'm a singer. I recently moved into Provincetown to become a solo singer without being overshadowed by my old bandmates. The drive over was...weird since I saw a TON of roadkill and almost crashed into a car that nearly ran over a deer corpse. It was SO embarrassing, but I managed to keep my cool and hum to myself.
The town was covered in a thick fog, making it impossible to see. I finally arrived at my new house and got myself settled in, but I got a glimpse of a figure watching me. It was gone the moment I turned towards it, so I shrugged in response. Suddenly, before I could even open the door, a woman with pink hair like mine bleeding from her face ran up to me. To be honest, she looked like a crackhead.
"What are you doing here?! You'll die in this damn town! Get the hell out while you still can!" she said while shaking me.
"I-I don't understand. What--" I began to say.
Another woman came up, pulling her off of me. Oh thank god I had some backup!
"Get out of here, TB Karen! She's new here, so you can't scare her like that!" she said to the bleeding woman.
"You'll regret that you didn't leave sooner..." Karen said before turning to leave.
The other woman sighed in relief once she was gone and said to me, "Sorry about that, miss, she's what we would consider to be the town's local crazy, so try not to think about her warnings. I'm Martha and I'm the house manager for the house next door."
"I'm Molly and I just moved here." I said, shaking her hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Martha."
"What brings you to Provincetown?"
At least this was an improvement from whatever the hell happened with Karen...
"I'm looking to become a singer. You see, I was part of this band in college, but I want to stand out on my own, so I moved here to try and figure out how I'll be starting out in my solo career."
Martha smiled at me once I was done explaining my story on what drew me into moving in this town.
"Well, there's this local piano bar and restaurant called The Muse that has live entertainment, you can try and audition there. I wish you the best of luck on your endeavors."
I scratched the back of my head sheepishly and thanked her before heading into my new home. I'll have to consider going to this place that would probably lead to my big break...
That night, I decided to go for a walk on the beach. I auditioned at The Muse earlier after unpacking all of my stuff, so I was impatiently waiting to hear back. Oh god, what if I wasn't good enough? What do I do then? I would've wasted so much time! I took a deep breath to calm myself down and started to sing this original song I wrote back in the days I was still in the band. I was about to get to the bridge of the song when I heard someone clear their throat behind me.
A man with dark hair stood there and said, "I don't mean to interrupt, but you sing beautifully."
"Thank you, sir! I...wrote this song myself back in college." I said as I fixed my hair before holding my hand out to him. "Oh! My name is Molly by the way. I'm new here."
He shook my hand, giving me a smile.
"I'm Harry and I also happen to be new here along with my wife and daughter. I'm here to work on this pilot I've been writing up, you know, just to get some inspiration. What about you?" he said.
"I wanted to kickstart my solo career as a singer, so now, I'm waiting to hear back on this audition I did at The Muse. I could end up being like this 1920's lounge singer type, you know?"
We laughed at my comment while Harry pushed some of his hair back.
"Yeah, I totally get it. I was just out on a walk to think when I saw these bodies and heard you singing, which totally freaked me out since I thought you were some bloodthirsty siren. No offense."
"None taken." I said before I heard my phone ring.
I excused myself for a moment and got on, listening in on what the owner of the bar had to say. My eyes widened in surprise when I heard that I now had a job as a singer and that I had to get to The Muse as soon as possible. I thanked the person on the other end before hanging up.
"Congrats on the new job?" Harry asked. "I didn't mean to listen in just so you know."
I smiled at him and held up my hand when I saw his reaction.
"Hey, it's fine and thank you for the compliment. I have to run to my new job, but I'll see you around, Harry."
I walked past him to get ready.
"It was nice meeting you, Molly!"
I looked back at him, waving before making my way home.
I had no idea why it was so empty, but I just shook it off and looked for the backstage area. Judging by how the place looked, yeah, I was definitely on my way to becoming a lounge singer...not a bad place to start for my career. I hated to admit that I got a little lost until I bumped into some blonde guy.
"Are you lost, Pinky?" he asked me.
"A little, yeah, and my name is Molly, not Pinky. Could you please tell me how to get backstage? It's my first day performing here." I said.
He let out an amused laugh before gesturing behind him.
"Just go past me and the backstage area is to the left of this place in the very back." he said. "Oh, and my name is Mickey in case you want to know. If you need to have some fun, come and find me..."
I shook my head at him and followed his directions, finding myself waiting near the stage after getting set up in my new dressing room. I stood behind this duo made up of a young man and this older woman and just minded my own business by listening to the pianist currently on stage.
I was on my phone looking over the notes I took regarding the audition to try and mentally prepare myself before noticing that the two other people were looking right at me. The woman had blonde hair that was almost completely white and she had a fancy and classy vibe to her. However, it was the man that was with her that drew my attention: he had the darkest brown eyes I've ever seen and brown hair, not to mention he was dressed in dark clothes.
I put my phone away when I noticed them and smiled, asking, "So, are you guys performers too?"
"I believe you can say so. Tell me, my dear, are you new here?" the woman said.
"Yeah, I literally just moved here. I'm Molly, Molly Sorkin. What are your names?" I said.
Before the woman could speak up, the man gestured her to step back for a moment before fixing his hair a bit. I found myself tensing up when he looked me over almost to take in every detail from my outfit to my eyes and hair. I was able to hear a slight hum from him when he examined the ribbon that tied my hair back, but I didn't get much of a name from either of them. I watched them come up on stage when they were announced while listening to them sing.
I glanced over at them and heard the man singing, nearly making me lose my breath. He would put anyone who acted in musicals like Phantom of the Opera to shame and when I watched him, it was like nothing else mattered, but the sound of his voice. I noticed him glancing over at me for a brief moment before winking at me, which made me duck out of view. Shit, why was he so attractive? The panic ended when the song ended and it was my turn to do my song.
I noticed Harry sitting nearby and raising his glass to me as if to say hi. Shaking off the thoughts of the man from earlier, I gestured to the pianist to start playing as I begun to sing. Was I nervous? Hell yeah, this was my first time doing this on my own without my band! I was able to keep my cool as well as my concentration though. I noticed the duo nearby watching me from their table and that the man was covering his nose and mouth in curiosity. I ignored him and kept singing since the song was almost over.
As the pianist played the last notes, I finished my song and stepped off of the stage to take a seat.
"You're Molly Sorkin, right?" a waiter that came up to my table asked.
"Uh, yeah. Who gave you my name?"
The waiter gulped before placing a glass in front of me.
"It was Miss Cunningham and Mr. Sommers who told me your name. They're over there with that gentleman."
She pointed to the table Harry was sitting at and the two people from backstage were talking to him.
I thanked the waiter and grabbed my drink, making my way towards them. I was a little nervous since I hardly knew these people, but Harry was my next door neighbor, so I guess that it made up to have a friend of sorts accompanying me to talk to strangers.
"Isn't weird that we ran into each other again?" Harry asked me when I took a seat next to him. "Sarah, Austin, this is Molly. She's new here like me."
"Yeah...weird. Hi again, guys." I said to them.
The woman, Sarah, nodded at me and said, "Ah yes, I remember you. Your performance was quite excellent..."
"She's Belle Noir. You know, the romance author?" Harry said.
It sounded familiar, but I honestly didn't have the time to read her books, even if I tended to occasionally pick up one of Kairi Lovelock's horror novels.
"Really? Wow, that's something." I said, feeling my face turn red when I saw that Austin, the man who was a little too interested in me, watching me drink.
"You're actually a beautiful singer, Molly. Also, I love the hair a ton." he said as he grabbed one of my hair strands and moved his fingertips across it. "Light pink really suits you since it goes with your eyes...damn, your eyes are like turquoises."
I laughed nervously while having my drink and said, "Thanks, you weren't too bad yourself out there. What exactly do you do, Austin?"
"I'm a three time Tony winning playwright and coming here to Provincetown during the winter...inspires me, the same goes for Sarah. What about you? What brings you to a place like this?" Austin asked me.
I tapped my glass as I looked at what remained in my drink. I was with a successful author and playwright along with my neighbor who happened to be a screenwriter...I just happened to be a singer looking to become famous, not someone who was already on top of the world.
"I'm a singer who used to be in this band with my friends, so I moved out here to basically go solo." I said with a shrug.
To say I was intimidated was an understatement...especially with someone as enchanting to look at as Austin. Oh god, his eyes were like looking into the abyss (not in a grim way) with it beckoning you to come closer and closer until the darkness swallows you up!
"Well, I think you'll be great, sweetheart." he said.
Oh my god, he just called me "sweetheart?!" I found myself laughing again while Harry looked at us awkwardly and Sarah rolled her eyes.
"Oh goodness, why?" Sarah said with a groan.
I ignored her and found myself twirling my hair around like some lovesick schoolgirl.
"Uh...Molly, should I leave you and Austin alone?" Harry asked me.
I was about to speak up when I saw Karen looking for table scraps before she saw us. Great, just what I needed...
"Hey, TB Karen! Go scavenge for food elsewhere!" the bartender said, trying to shoo her off.
Austin laughed at the scene and said, "Leave her alone, man."
My entire body froze in fear when I saw that Karen was staring right at us. I wasn't sure what to do, so I just sat there in fear and decided to let her run up to us. Her attention was right on Harry, so I was relieved that I wasn't being accosted for moving into this town.
"What the fuck are you still doing here? You need to run from here before the bloodsuckers get to you!" she said before pointing at me. "And the same goes to you!"
With that, she ran off, which made me sigh in relief.
"You ran into her too, huh?" Harry asked.
I nodded and said, "Yeah..."
Honestly, it got super awkward after Karen showed up. I finished my drink to try and calm my nerves, almost choking on my drink when I noticed the almost...murderous glint in Austin's eyes. Did he want to kill me or kiss me? I had no idea.
"Well, that was quite an inspiring experience." Sarah said as she looked back towards the direction Karen left in.
I watched Harry check his phone for a moment before standing up and saying, "I have to go home or else my script will NEVER get done..."
I gave him a small salute as he walked off, leaving me alone with Sarah and Austin. What was I supposed to do? Try and continue the conversation with them? And what did Karen mean by "bloodsuckers?" Were they vampires?
"Is the pink natural or dyed, my dear?" Sarah asked me while looking at my hair.
"It's dyed and the original color was light brown. I thought it looked...boring." I said.
I was never comfortable talking about my high school years before I dyed my hair and joined the band, but if people were curious, I guess I had to explain.
"Well, call me interested." Austin said, giving me a wink. "With hearing you sing and seeing how your hair and eyes blend well together, you're totally the creative type AND an inspiration, Molly."
He was actually flirting with me? Hot damn...I did NOT see that coming at all. I just wanted to sing, but here I was getting all doe eyed over some guy I barely knew. I shook it off and stood up from my seat.
"I have to go, guys, sorry. I'll probably see you guys again if you two frequent this place while I sing." I said.
Immediately, I went back home, unaware that they were watching me leave.
Since that day, I performed at The Muse nightly and spent some time getting to know people like Sarah and Austin (I even got to meet Harry's family!). There was ONE weird thing that happened despite the uneventful week I had been going through: the chief came to see me to ask about some suspicious activity, but I told her that I didn't know anything. Anyways, one day, I was feeling a little slumped on which song to go with for my performance that night when I suddenly got a text from Austin, which was an invite to talk with him as well as the directions to his place.
It was weird that I got asked to come over when I only knew him for like what? A few weeks or so? Anyways, I accepted his invitation and went over. I was too awestruck with how...fancy the house was when I stepped in.
"Feel free to make yourself at home. Want a drink?" he asked me.
I shook my head and said, "No thanks, I'll be fine."
Again, I felt my nervousness kick in when he came back with a glass in hand and my face went red when I noticed that his shirt was partially unbuttoned, revealing his chest. Was he trying to tease me somehow? I took a deep breath while telling myself that it was just going to be a friendly conversation about my songs.
"So, what did you want to talk about, sweetheart?"
I almost choked on the air when I heard him ask that. There he goes again with calling me "sweetheart."
"Well, I was just trying to get your opinion on what song I should do tonight. It's been driving me CRAZY!"
Austin had some of his drink as I put my options out to him from this jazzy number that I had been passionate about (it also gets to a partial rock beat during the bridge) to a pop number that I wasn't too proud of.
"...Yeah, basically, I'm stumped on what to do. What's your opinion?" I asked as I fixed my hair.
"Could I hear you sing the jazz one?" Austin said.
I nodded and started singing. Wow, I forgot how I wanted a 20's lounge vibe for the melody with the way I sang it...I noticed that he was doing the whole covering his mouth and nose in curiosity thing again. Once I got to the end of the song, I sighed before sitting back down.
"Well? What do you think? I hope it's not too bad."
He smirked at me, making my heartbeat suddenly increase.
"No, you did great. The style really suits you..."
I laughed nervously and said, "Uh, thanks."
Austin let out a whistle and tossed a bag of what looked like black pills at me. Oh god, was he a drug dealer?
"What the hell are these?" I asked.
"They don't have a name yet, but they're really useful for helping spark creativity. If you find yourself in a writer's block or whatever, just take one of these and you'll be good as new." he said, pointing to the bag.
I still didn't trust this at all, even if my interest in him persisted.
"But what about side effects? Are these even legal? What's in them?"
He shrugged in response.
"There are no side effects. As for what's in them? No one knows except for The Chemist."
I raised an eyebrow and asked, "What exactly are you getting at?"
"I'm not getting at anything to be honest with you. If singing means a lot to you, you need to grab a hold of your dreams. Fuck what other people say! These pills will help you get exactly what you want." he said.
I handed him the bag of pills while shaking my head.
"While I appreciate the help, I can't take these. Why would I use drugs to ruin my career that hasn't even started?"
With that, I got up and prepared to leave, only to feel Austin grabbing my hand before I could step out the door. My blush then came up when I saw that we were holding hands. Damn, what was wrong with me? First, I found out that he has drugs that he doesn't even know much about in his possession and now, this?!
"How about I try and make things up to you? I can come by The Muse and watch you sing more often as well as buy you drinks when you're done."
He was a little too persistent...but I nodded.
"Yeah, sure, whatever. See you tonight, Austin." I said while letting go of his hand.
When I got back home, I realized that I was holding the bag of pills (almost like I didn't even give it back to him). I groaned and threw them into the trash, knowing that I wasn't going to associate myself with them ever...